Remember Ward Churchill? He was the slimy slug who emerged from the primordial ooze to assert that those who died in the World Trade Center somehow deserved their fate. His credentials? He was a full professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder. His specialty? Native-American studies. His claim to fame? Self-asserted membership in a pay-to-play tribe thereby qualifying him somehow to be authoritative in native-American issues.
He was hired based on the claim, promoted, tenured and vested all on the basis of what proved to be a very tenuous assertion of ethnicity. As the case unraveled, allegations of poor scholarship and plagiarism further discredited him.
Isolated incident? Apparently not.
How about a professor at Harvard running for the United States Senate? Take a look at this pathetic case:
1/32nd Indian Wanted Friends
Are we really expected to believe that? She is seeking a teaching job at Harvard and she claims Native-American status to link up with people? Hasn't she heard about Facebook? It was invented at Harvard!
So naturally Harvard hires her and with that credential it is just a hop, skip and political jump to run for the Senate. If Ted Kennedy can do it, why not Chief Lizzie Warren?
I honestly never really thought that claiming myself as an ethnic minority on an employment application or faculty registry would get me a lot of friends. I've never scanned those things looking for someone to have a beer with. Maybe it's a new place to search.
What should I be?